Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

Started Sep 2, 2017 | Discussions
barrycarie Regular Member • Posts: 116
Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints
1

I am looking to make a 20 x 60 metal print.  I have some 20 x 30s from costco that I am actually pretty happy with, but I would like to have a bit higher quality for the panorama.

Metal Mouth seems to get pretty universally good reviews

Whitewall seems to get very hot and cold reviews (people like them unless they need to use customer service)

Bay Photo seems to be a reliable high quality standby, but when I add in their crate and shipping costs, they get significantly more expensive than otehrs

MagnaChrome seemed to be a top choice several years ago, but I really can't find any recent reviews.

Many of the other vendors don't seem to do large panoramas.

Has anyone seen a good comparative review?  If I am going to spend over 300.00 (and likely well over 300.00 considering test prints), I would like to make sure I get a great quality print.

Julian Vrieslander Senior Member • Posts: 1,093
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints
1

Do you want a direct print on metal, or a print on metal backing?  If the latter, you might check out Bumblejax . They can print on metallic paper, and mount on acrylic or dibond (aluminum/plastic sandwich) in very large sizes.  They will also mount on solid aluminum, but I don't think they can accommodate the size you want.

I've had work done by them and was very pleased with the results.

OP barrycarie Regular Member • Posts: 116
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

Thanks Julian!  An added bonus, I could skip shipping, as they are driving distance!

mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 9,297
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints
1

There's a small but very high quality metallic printer in Vancouver, WA called HD Aluminum that many of the photographers in Portland use:

http://www.hdaluminumprints.com/

I've never used them but have visited their shop and found very friendly and helpful people and their walls are covered with very large prints. I don't know how they compare in price to other metal printers but everyone seems happy with the results.

BTW, I have done a few face mounted acrylic prints and actually think they're nicer looking than metal because the acrylic face adds an extra depth the metal lacks, but they are also very heavy and the surface easily scratches (even the scratch resistant). You might have Bumblejax make up one for you but if you do make sure you ask for the 1/4" acrylic instead of the 1/8" as it looks a lot better.

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OP barrycarie Regular Member • Posts: 116
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

Thanks Mike!

RGBCMYK
RGBCMYK Senior Member • Posts: 2,429
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

I have worked with Bay Photo and I understand their shipping might be higher but they do beautiful work.

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 9,674
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

I'd order a smaller print (8x10, 11 x 14) first to get some idea of the product—and, then, get an understanding that the larger print must meet your satisfaction.  GOOD LUCK.  Great to see folks printing their work.

studiogrynn New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

I know that this thread is a few months old, but it's worth putting here for future searches. If you are looking for a real upgrade from metal prints, a photo on metal is really the way to go. Color will be more realistic and sharpness will be significantly better.   Reed Art & Imaging (Denver, Colorado) has a photo on metal print that looks better than dye sub metal in every way. Like, Bay, you'll have to pay for crates and shipping at the sizes you are talking, but Reed specializes in fine art, they are not a blend of wedding portrait lab /fine art lab.  They do one thing and they do it very well.

bartjeej Regular Member • Posts: 405
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

First of all, a photo print on metal will have the same sharpness as a photo print in a frame, or a photo print behind acrylic glass; the metal, in this case, is just a mounting mechanism and doesn't impact the image on the print itself.

Regarding photo print on metal being sharper and having better color than dye sub metal prints: it really depends on the metal printer. I had metal prints done by a local (Dutch) company, and while they're perfectly adequate, they don't blow me away with their sharpness (color is good though). I also had 2 HD metal prints done by Whitewall, and they're magnificent. Sharpness is pretty much on par with my whitewall photo print behind acrylic, but contrast and color pop are on a different level; there's drama and juice that the acrylic print can't match. The print with acrylic is more neutral though. Think AMOLED vs IPS.

I did need Whitewall's customer service, it was not particularly quick but ultimately satisfactory.

jhc389 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Is there a Comparison of vendors for metal prints

Thank you, this was really helpful.

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